We went to the Bible & Interpretation webpage to look for our next installment for the scholar’s series and we decided to address Robert Cargill’s view that the flood did not take place. Knowing we have addressed one of Dr. Cargill’s biblical fallacies and that we have addressed the flood topic before on numerous occasions, we decided to do it again as he raises some interesting ponts.
We are not going to go science expert v. science expert in this rendition of rebutting anti-flood thinking. That would be boring and a waste of time. But we will address his one or two uses of science as we go. You can read the whole article at:
#1. So, instead of addressing their spurious claims yet again, I thought I would approach the issue from a different angle: forget about Noah’s ark; there was no world-wide flood.
His post was written in 2010 and he was referring to the group called Noah’s Ark Ministries International. We are not worried about the 8 year time gap because what he says then is still being said today. For example, his claim that there was no world-wide flood. That is a spurious statement that is based more on unbelief than it is on science. There are a lot of people today who make that claim.
Such claims are made because people are unable to use faith to believe God. If we want to, we could pull out the Love chapter and quote that if people love God, they would believe him when he says there was a flood. Love believes all things. We would only use that to point out that Dr. Cargill does not love God and he has said that many times.
#2. The worldwide flood described in Genesis 6-9 is not historical, but rather a combination of at least two flood stories, both of which descended from earlier Mesopotamian flood narratives
He might have a case if the ancient world did not have multitude of flood stories in almost every civilization that was in existence after the flood. What Dr. Cargill does not realize is that for his theory to work, every member of Israel would have to be brain-dead and not once question the source of the stories. He does not seem to give the ancient people any credit for intelligence, curiosity, or desire to find the truth. He makes them all blindly accepting people who just pray, eat and sleep the day away.
Since people questioned Moses and his leadership, we are sure that there would be some who would question the adoption of myths created outside of Israel. Someone would investigate to see if the stories in their religious and holy book were true. If they did and found that it was false, they would most certainly have those portions removed. They would not let them remain in their holy words. Since we have no record of anyone doing that, the onus is on Dr.Cargill t provide proof that the flood accounts were copied from secular societies.
#3. Most biblical and ancient Near Eastern scholars argue that the flood is a mythical story adopted from earlier Mesopotamian flood accounts.
Yes they do but they cannot provide one real piece of evidence that the Israelites copied from those unbelieving civilizations surrounding them. We have said this before, the Old Babylonians enjoyed a reputation for copying from other societies but there is not one hint that the Israelites did. Where do scholars get the idea that the biblical writers copied? From the fact that certain secular works appeared before the OT did.
They base this thinking on the idea that the oldest discovered was the first one written. But that can’t be proven either since Moses wrote roughly around the 15th century BC. Plus, chronology tells us that the truth appeared first. Noah and his family told their descendants about the flood. As those descendants strayed from God so did their literature content.
It was not the biblical writers who copied or adopted but the authors who wrote the Gilgamesh Epic and other flood accounts.
#4.These flood stories appear to have been transmitted to the Israelites early in Israel’s history. Contact between the Assyrians and the Israelites is known from the conquest of Israel and its capitol, Samaria, in 721 BCE by Assyrian King Shalmaneser V (727-722 BCE), and from the attempted conquest of Jerusalem by the Assyrian King Sennacherib (704-681 BCE). These stories were apparently modified to conform to a monotheistic faith
If Dr. Cargill’s theory was correct, then that may explain the Israelites including the account in the OT. It does not explain why those ancient societies far from and never hearing of the Babylonians and Assyrians would also include a flood myth in their ancient literature. Especially if they never experienced a flood. Where did those societies get their information and why would they include and adopt stories from a far-a-way kingdom in their religious writings? Dr. Cargill cannot explain that phenomenon.
The story of Babel does explain why those far-a-way civilizations would have a flood account in their historical records. Their ancestors got it from Noah and his family. Then to make his thinking sound credible, Dr. Cargill has to change the date of the writing of the OT, especially the book of Genesis. He has no proof that the OT was written in the 5th-7th centuries BC but it is a widely held convenient theory among scholars. One that has been disproven countless times.
Two key words in that quote tell us that Dr. Cargill cannot prove his theory. Those words are ‘appear’ & ‘apparently’. He does not know yet he will go with that thinking over the truth. He also cannot prove it either. The thought that there are two flood stories melded into one is read into the contents of the Biblical account, not taken out of it. There is no ancient evidence that those early accounts were used to make one biblical flood story. That idea is based upon the misreading of the biblical texts by unbelieving scholars.
#5. The combined story preserves vestigial indicators that the account was originally two separate narratives.
This is proof for what we said immediately above the quote. Because Dr. Cargill does not understand the Bible and does not follow the Holy Spirit to the truth, he cannot know what the truth is. More detailed instruction is not evidence for the editing of two secular flood accounts. Dr. Cargill continues to demonstrate his ignorance of reading the biblical text when he states that the flood was recorded as lasting for to different lengths of time.
He misunderstands the Bible when it says
24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. (Gen. 7 NASB)
17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days (Ibid)
The receding of the water added the extra time and he does not take into account context before making his claim:
4 For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; (Ibid)
Avoid context and you can get confused very easily. The term flood in verse 17 obviously refers to the rains God promised and the length of time he said it would rain. The word water in verse 24 is talking about how long the water remained on the earth. There is no contradiction here, water in a flood does not normally disappear overnight.
#6. Further evidence for the presence of two flood stories comes from the fact that in the narratives that speak about 40 days of flooding, god is referred to as the divine name YHWH, which supposedly was not revealed to readers until the episode of the burning bush in Exodus 3. However, in the portions of the flood texts that refer to 150 days of flooding, god is referred to as elohim…
This isn’t evidence. It is made evidence by unbelieving scholars but it is not evidence. It is evidence that unbelieving scholars are reading into the account what they want to see but it is not indication that 2 different accounts were used. It is evidence that Moses used two different names for God but that is about it. Dr. Cargill cannot produce any real evidence that two secular accounts of local floods were used to record the biblical story.
#7. But for some, the literary evidence is not compelling. So, allow me present some scientific evidence: there could not have been a worldwide flood as described in the Bible because there is simply not enough water in the earth’s atmospheric system to produce such a flood
This is where Dr.Cargill uses science to support his point and as accurate as people think science is about the past, it is not. No one knows how much moisture exists in the atmosphere and underground. They can speculate but no one can accurately measure it. Plus, measuring modern conditions does not mean that those conditions were exactly the same in ancient times.
Then when you look at the amount of water Dr. Cargill claims to be in existence today outside of the rivers and oceans, you begin to wonder about all those global warming scientists who warn of devastating floods to come once the earth warms up. Since underground water supplies are not affected by global warming… You get the picture. Then, he says there is only enough water to raise the oceans by about 1 inch or a little more.
Thus, in order to even entertain the possibility of a worldwide flood, one has to bypass all laws of physics, exit the realm of science, and enter into the realm of the miraculous, which many biblical literalists are willing to do. It is hypothetically possible that, say, the polar ice caps melted. This could raise the ocean levels beyond the 2.5 centimeters that all the earth’s atmospheric water could were it to all rain down, but even then the thaw would only slightly affect the world’s coastlines.
Mor evidence against global warming threats and predictions.
Dr. Cargill has neither textual evidence nor scientific evidence to prove his thesis. His statement is still founded only in unbelief and not fact.
#8. Simply put: there is no evidence whatsoever for a worldwide flood. In other words, it’s impossible. There is not enough water in the earth’s atmospheric system to even come close to covering all of the earth’s land masses.
Considering that there has only been 1 world-wide flood in al of history it is a bit presumptuous and arrogant to make such a claim as Dr. Cargill does. He is ignoring the boatloads of evidence we do have for the flood. You can read a lot of it at the following link
But that is what unbelievers do. They distort and lie about the facts so they can continue blissfully in their ignorance and unbelief.
#9. It is time for Christians to admit that some of the stories in Israel’s primordial history are not historical.
NO… it is time for unbelievers to concede that their arguments do not hold up under close scrutiny. For one thing if the biblical account of the flood was untrue, it would not have made it out of OT times. Someone or a group of someone would have proven the account false and a lot of protests would have been made. Then someone would have taken power who believed the protests and had the OT changed. No OT manuscript reflects this possibility. Plus, Dr. Cargill and other scholars do not produce credible, authentic, alternative OT manuscripts that state otherwise.
Producing those would be actual evidence. Making arguments about different names, different numbers is not evidence. From a textual point of view, all Dr. Cargill has is subjective unbelieving opinion. Opinions that do not accept rational and logical counter arguments.
#10. Simply because a factual error exists in the text of the Bible does not mean that an ethical truth or principal cannot still be conveyed. It is time for Christians to concede that “inspiration” does not equal “inerrancy,” and that “biblical” does not equal “historical” or even “factual.”
We are not addressing his
It is ok to concede that these stories were crafted in a pre-scientific period
because that whole idea is based on a myth about science and its supposed authority. Science has no authority and it is not the last word on anything.
What Dr.Cargill does not understand is that a factual error undermines the ethical truth. Simply because the supposed ethical truth allowed for lies to be told. That means that the ethical truth is not ethical or truth at all but will use whatever it can to make its point. Inspiration does equal inerrancy because if God allowed sin into his holy word then that means God promotes sin and contradicts his own word and being.
Then biblical does mean historical because God cannot lie. SInce Dr. Cargill and his fellow like-minded scholars cannot produce divinely inspired OT manuscripts that say something different from all our preserved and authentic OT manuscripts, then their arguments are not based on fact but their unbelief. Their deceived minds have been taken on a fairy tale ride and led to believe they are following the truth. When in reality, they are doing what the ancient authors of the alternative flood accounts did- they stray from the truth because their unbelief and evil wont let them accept what ‘God did in man’s history.
It is time for the Christian to ignore secular scholars and uphold the word of God as true, historical and inerrant.